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Tech gadgets: Can you afford to replace or cope without them?

Tech gadgets: Can you afford to replace or cope without them?
20-08-13 / Staff Writer

Tech gadgets: Replace or cope without them?

This year has also been marked as the year of the gadget by some industry experts, with 42% of South Africans wanting to own smartphones and 37% wanting to own a tablet over the next 12 months. The latest kalahari.com Mobile Shopping Survey also revealed that currently in South Africa more than a third of connected consumers own a tablet device and 78.3% own smartphones.

But the real values of smart devices are often hard to quantify. Most consumers do not track the cost of how many eBooks or e-content they download each month. Without knowing the true value of these smart devices, it is impossible to take the necessary precautions to protect them.

The average price and value of these popular and very attainable smart devices range from R8 000 to R11 000. Many consumers own both a smart phone and a tablet, so in actual fact they are carrying no less than R15 000 worth of tech goods around with them during the day.

Alan Browne, Head of Santam Personal Lines said; "These expensive smart devices are high risk items, particularly because we are not at home with them most of the time and therefore it's not advisable to simply include these items in the household insurance category."

"In South Africa tablets are being used extensively for both personal and professional reasons; therefore consumers are in most cases hugely dependent on them and cannot afford losing connection or the actual device or the data for a long period of time. The risk of potentially losing a considerable amount of money and the inconvenience going along with it, should something happen to the device, is quite high."

"In this case insurance offerings such as the Santam Personal All Risk insurance offering, which offers cover for all your valuable personal items you normally wear or carry with you outside your home would be ideal," adds Browne.

Protecting your e-content

It's evident that South Africans are also enjoying the convenience of digital products or services, such as apps, movies, eBooks and music.

The average cost of these downloads comprises of one sound track costing R6.99, a movie, anything from R120-R150 and eBook's selling at R134.95.

The cost of this e-content does add up quite a bit, and currently there are no insurance offerings available to cover these digital products, which gives even more reason to back up your e-content at all times. Although losing an expensive device hurts one's finances, nothing can replace lost data content once it is lost. And in the paperless age we live in, many times extremely important and irreplaceable data is stored on various smart devices.

Consumers are increasingly turning to cloud storage options to have their precious files, photos, music and videos backed up to secure internet storage. This ensures a safe and accessible storage space which can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet or computer.

Some online retailers and technology manufacturers have cloud drives and web storage applications where users can enjoy free storage and in some cases have their e-content automatically backed up on a daily basis.

"Bottom line is, know the true value of these gadgets and protect them against all risks accordingly. Insuring your gadgets should not be seen as an unnecessary extra expense as the stakes are quite high," concludes Browne.

Tips for looking after your tech gadgets

  • As the consumer, it is your responsibility to always back up your e-content and data. Set yourself a routine to do so at least once a week.
  • There are cellphone providers that will help you back-up your data for a small fee. See what options you have available.
  • Important documents, movies and music you have invested in should be backed up in at least two different places, a hard drive, home computer and cloud storage options would be advisable in this instance.
  • Remember to always do a routine back up before taking your device in for any sort of inspection and repairs.
  • Insuring your gadgets should not be seen as an unnecessary extra expense. Consider adding the devices to a suitable insurance policy
  • Make sure that you have a trusted antivirus program installed


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